SAN FRANCISCO - The No. 9 University of California San Diego men's soccer team was pinned with its first loss of 2018 against San Francisco State, 3-1, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action Sunday at Cox Stadium.
With the result in a nationally-televised contest, UC San Diego falls to 9-1-2 overall and 3-1-2 in the CCAA. San Francisco State, a winner of three straight, improves to 7-2-3 overall and 4-2-2 in league play. The Gators had ended the Tritons' 2017 season with a 1-0 victory in La Jolla in the first round of the CCAA Tournament.
Through games played Thursday, San Francisco State was rated eighth (0.468) and UC San Diego ninth (0.511) nationally in team goals-against average. The Gators' mark had improved to 0.428 with Friday's 1-0 shutout over Cal State San Marcos.
UC San Diego surrendered its first first-half goal of 2018 in the 20th minute, very much in a self-inflicted manner as a mistake in the back led to a foul of Clayton Sato at the top of the box. Senior Carlos Trujeque Leal converted the resulting penalty kick, right-footed into the left side of the net, for a 1-0 edge.
The Tritons should have equalized moments later. Kristjánsson's right-sided free kick was cleared via header by a Gator defender, but only as far as redshirt freshman center back Oliver Nelson, who provided a left-footed shot that was cleared off the line by SFSU senior captain Aydan Bowers.
In the 27th minute, Trujeque Leal had his brace for a 2-0 bulge. A left-sided cross was knocked down by substitute Miles Burditt, with Trujeque Leal putting a first-timed, left-footed effort into the bottom right corner for his fifth goal of the year.
The Gators had a 30th-minute tally disallowed due to an offside decision. Senior forward Nathaniel Bloom (Encinitas/San Dieguito HS Academy) then came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the 36th, but was unable to hit the target.
Triton sophomore forward Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) ultimately managed to put his team on the board in the 48th minute. It was Sabouri who played senior winger Christian Cordell out wide on the right wing. Cordell's cross was spilled by sophomore Gator goalie Peter Swinkels, and Sabouri was on the scene for an easy finish into the empty net for his third goal, tying him for the team lead. Cordell's assist was his first on the year.
UC San Diego wrestled momentum from there, but couldn’t find the equalizer. A Kristjánsson corner kick, from the left, fell to senior captain Jeff Powers, though his right-footed attempt in the 65th minute was blocked away by a defender.
Against the run of play, the Gators largely clinched all three points in the 70th. Within a minute of entering the game for the first time, junior Brandt Dixon ran onto a Trujeque Leal through ball, and from a tight angle near the left end line, fired left-footed for his second to regain the two-goal advantage.
Both teams had several near-misses from there, with a final score line of 3-1.
Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) gathered three saves for UC San Diego. Swinkels had a single stop for the home side.
UC San Diego is back on the road next week, with critical, tough tilts at Southern California rivals Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, Oct. 12, and defending West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego still leads the all-time series, 11-7-5, despite back-to-back losses ... The Tritons last allowed three scores in a game in another 3-1 CCAA road loss at Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 27, 2016 ... Jonathan Sabouri's goal was the ninth of his career, with Christian Cordell's assist his second ... Former Tritons and Bay Area natives Nick Palano, Sam Palano and Tyler Shaver were in the stands.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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